Total smoking ban from 2008
7 June 2007, THE HAGUE – Smoking should be banned throughout the hospitality industry starting July next year. The cabinet will discuss a proposal to this end from Public Health Minister Ab Klink (Christian democrat CDA) on Friday.
7 June 2007
THE HAGUE – Smoking should be banned throughout the hospitality industry starting July next year. The cabinet will discuss a proposal to this end from Public Health Minister Ab Klink (Christian democrat CDA) on Friday.
Klink said during an emergency debate in Parliament on organ donation on Wednesday that a final decision could take some time. He said that he was still undecided on whether coffeeshops should be included in the ban.
So in addition to cafés, restaurants and canteens at sport clubs, the smoking ban might also come into effect at coffeeshops at the same time. Separate smoking areas may be provided, but there can be no service in those areas.
Klink wants to move ahead quickly with a ban because of the damage smoking causes to health. There is already a smoking ban in workplaces and this must now be extended to the hospitality industry, he says.
Horeca Nederland, fearing loss in turnover, is urging that a ban be introduced in phases. A spokesperson for the umbrella organisation says the cafés and nightclubs are "not yet ready" for a ban. He wants to wait and hear what the rest of the cabinet thinks of the plan on Friday.
A ban on smoking in coffeeshops was under fire in mid March from a majority in Parliament of Labour PvdA, Socialist SP, Liberal VVD and green-left GroenLinks.
"People go to coffeeshops to smoke, to smoke weed rather. The point of these shops is to limit nuisance from people smoking elsewhere," said PvdA MP Lea Bouwmeester. GroenLinks feared that soft drugs would be pushed into the illegal circuit if smoking were no longer allowed at coffeeshops. But that problem seems to be avoided if coffeeshops may set up a separate smoking area.
The anti-smoking organisation Clean Air Nederland is pleased with the "clear decision." But the organisation does not think that a separate smoking area is a feasible alternative because employees may still have to perform work in those areas, to clean for instance.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news